Recently I found an interesting article on the Guardian UK about the longest living man in the world. The man, Jiroemon Kimura in Osaka, Japan, was alive in the late 1800’s and still in good health. The secret, as he explains is:
Kimura attributes his robust health to watching his food portion sizes, waking early in the day, reading the newspapers…He shares a home with his grandson’s widow, Eiko Kimura, who serves him his regular breakfast of rice porridge and miso soup.
In the same article, it mentions other centenarians and their advice. For example, a woman from the UK:
The Briton is Grace Jones, who is 113, one of only three in the country who can say they were living during the reign of Queen Victoria. She attributes her long life to “good English food, never anything frozen”.
…and a woman from the US:
The oldest person in the US, Elsie Thompson, maintains perhaps a counter-intuitive approach to surviving well beyond 100. While the 113-year-old Florida resident shuns red meat, she likes her coffee and biscuits. Her secret? “I love people,” she told the Tampa Bay Times in April 2010, when she was a mere 111.
Somehow, this reminds me of something I read years ago about Sojiji Temple, a Soto Zen temple in Japan I visited in 2011. The monastic diet there (shōjin-ryōri 精進料理) has only about 1,000 calories per day and no animal products.1 The head priests tend to live for 100 years and do not suffer from Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or heart conditions. This is speculation, but a combination of nutrition and environment may help.
But the Guardian article also suggests that food isn’t everything:
But studies and testimony from centenarians suggest that lasting friendships, community ties, as well as generous pensions and decent healthcare, can be as important as eating well, avoiding tobacco and drinking in moderation.
Sometimes the secret to long life is more than just medical. 😉
1 I hear that monks will sometimes sneak over the wall to eat late night food and drink though. There’s always a few scallywags. ;p